It is soon time for the annual opening of the Norwegian parliament, Stortinget. It opens on Friday the 9th, at 13:00. Every year around the same time, I notice the same question on message-boards – where is Crown Princess Mette-Marit?
So, in a pre-emptive strike, let’s get it out of the way: Mette-Marit will not be making an appearance at the opening of the parliament this year, either.
The Norwegian Crown Princesses don’t appear at the annual opening of parliament. As far as I can tell, they never have.
Unlike in Denmark, where the majority of the royal family was out in full force, today, the Norwegian royal family settles for sending the Monarch, the spouse and the first heir. No Crown Princess Mette-Marit, no Princess Märtha Louise (or her talkative spouse), no Princess Ragnhild and no Princess Astrid.
One can speculate as to why that is – perhaps because when the royal family first began attending the event, then Crown Prince Olav was still not an adult, and thus not married. Perhaps because Queen Maud’s own attendance at the event was moderately sketchy, to the point where Queen Sonja’s attendance at her first opening of parliament in 1991 was seen as a rarity?
An exception to the Crown Princess “rule” will, quite probably, be made when the time comes for Princess Ingrid Alexandra to take on the title.
At least the participants in Norway will have a modicum of more actions than they do in Denmark. Unlike his Danish counterpart, King Harald will be reading the speech from the newly re-elected government. This has, in previous years led to some amusement from the press, as the year he skipped some pages, or the year when he asked God to bless the parliament’s brain…
The news coverage of the event may be topped by some news revealed earlier in the day: the Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize committee will be revealing this year’s recipient two hours before the opening of the parliament.